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Harrogate International Sunday Series announces a great line-up

Harrogate International Sunday Series 2012The 19th Harrogate International Sunday Series has been announced by the Harrogate International Festivals.

The 2012 Sunday Series contains some of the brightest international talent on the classical music scene.

This season Harrogate welcomes back Festival favourites Artur Pizarro & a star from our Young Musicians series; Julian Bliss. The season also includes the Pava?o Quartet, described as the ensemble to ‘offer classical music a dynamic future’, in addition to BBC Radio 3 favourite Martin Roscoe. The season draws to a close with one of Britain’s foremost cellists, Paul Watkins.

Artur Pizarro, piano – Sunday 22nd January | 11am

After winning first place at the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in 1990, Artur Pizarro has since taken the world by storm with his breath-taking performances. Now performing internationally in recital and chamber music and with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, he makes a very welcome return to Harrogate’s stage with a programme that draws on four of the greatest composers for piano. Growing from Chopin’s ‘miniature masterpieces’ to the grand splendour of Wagner, Liszt and Rachmaninov, this thrilling programme is the perfect start to the New Year and a new season.

Pavão String Quartet – Sunday 5th February | 11am

The all-female Pava?o String Quartet have rapidly established themselves as one of the most exciting young string quartets in the UK. With the great canon of music for string quartet at their heart, this versatile ensemble is highly regarded on the classical stage. The quartet’s varied programme spans three centuries, with the last (and most ambitious) works written by Haydn and Mendelssohn and a masterpiece by Britten which by contrast was composed when he was just a child. Their debut appearance on the Harrogate stage is definitely not to be missed.

Martin Roscoe, piano – Sunday 19th February | 11am

One of Britain’s most prolific recitalists, Martin Roscoe is equally at home in concerto, recital and chamber performances. In an ever more distinguished career, his popularity and critical acclaim are built on a deeply thoughtful musicianship, allied to an easy rapport with audiences and fellow musicians alike. Illustrating his breadth of experience, Roscoe’s programme takes us on a journey from the playful ‘Scenes from Childhood’ in Schumann’s Kinderszenen, to the sombre and tragic sonorities of Beethoven’s masterpiece, and the turbulent drama from Schubert’s sonata, written just two months before the composer’s death.

Julian Bliss, clarinet, Robert Bottriell, piano – Sunday 18th March | 11am

Firmly established on the international concert scene, Julian Bliss has already appeared as a soloist with a number of major international orchestras and as a recitalist has graced some of the world’s most prestigious stages, most recently as a soloist in the 2011 BBC Proms. Bliss adds Harrogate to the list in 2012 with a virtuosic programme, showing off his technical dexterity and lyrical prowess in the most demanding scores for clarinet from the likes of Francaix and Bernstein, while Weber’s Concertante presents two equally virtuoso solo parts for both clarinet and piano, promising a vibrant performance that won’t fail to impress.

Paul Watkins, cello, Huw Watkins, piano – Sunday 15th April | 11am

Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a distinguished career both as a conductor and one of Britain’s foremost and best loved cellists, demonstrated in the six concerto appearances at the BBC Proms on his resume. Watkins’ lyrical programme includes Beethoven’s sonata that marks the transition into the romantic string chamber repertoire, a Mendelssohn sonata that pays homage to the Bach Chorale and the Suite Italienne based on Stravinsky’s neo-classical ballet Pulcinella. Performing with his brother, composer and pianist Huw Watkins, the duo bring our 2012 Sunday Series to a triumphant close.


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